forwarded from the Benton Foundation

Gary Handman (
Thu, 15 Jan 1998 13:38:17 -0800 (PST)

>> Title: Cable TV Lacks Competition, F.C.C. Notes
>> Source: New York Times (D6)
>> <>
>> Author: Seth Schiesel
>> Issue: Competition
>> Description: The Federal Communications Commission released a report
>> yesterday confirming that the information revolution has failed to create
>> substantial competition in the standard cable industry and as a result
>> consumers are paying higher rates. "Less than 15 months away from the
>> sunset
>> of most cable rate regulation, it is clear that broad-based, widespread
>> competition to the cable industry has not developed and is not imminent,"
>> William Kennard, chairman of the FCC, said in a statement. "The loser is
>> the
>> American public. They must pay higher cable prices yet have fewer
>> competitive choices." The report said that cable TV rates have increased
>> by
>> 8.5 percent over the past year, bringing the average monthly bill up to
>> $28.83.
>> Title: Fourth Annual Report on Competition in Video Markets
>> Source: FCC
>> <>
>> Issue: Cable/Competition
>> Description: The Commission has adopted its fourth annual report to
>> Congress
>> on the status of competition in the markets for the delivery of video
>> programming. As of June 1997, cable operators served 87 percent of
>> households that receive multichannel video programming, down two percent
>> from September of 1996. While this represents a decrease, it shows the
>> cable
>> industry continues to occupy the dominant position in the multichannel
>> video
>> marketplace. It remains difficult to predict the extent to which
>> competition
>> will constrain cable systems' position as the dominant multichannel video
>> provider in the future. [see news release
>> <>]
>> Title: Study Finds a Decline In TV Network Violence
>> Source: New York Times (B7)
>> <>
>> Author: Lawrie Mifflin
>> Issue: Television
>> Description: The third and final report of a study that began three years
>> ago in response to public anxiety about violence on television, has found
>> a
>> steady decline in violent subject matter in all but one area. The report,
>> released yesterday, said the one area that has not shown a decrease is
>> "reality specials." These "shockumentaries" carry titles like "When
>> Animals
>> Attack" and "World's Scariest Police Shootouts." But overall the study,
>> conducted by the Center for Communication Policy at the University of
>> California at Los Angeles, found that only two prime-time series in the
>> 1996-97 season raised "frequent concerns" about the irresponsible or
>> excessive use of violence. The study was commissioned by ABC, CBS, NBC and
>> Fox in June 1994 after some prodding by Senator Paul Simon (D-IL).
>> Title: Technostress on the Net
>> Source: Washington Post (B5)
>> Author: Michelle V. Rafter
>> Issue: Lifestyles
>> Description: Technostress is defined by researchers as the negative effect
>> technology has on people's thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and bodies. Many
>> Internet users say that technostress affects their lives. Michelle M. Weil
>> and Larry D. Rosen, authors of a new book on the topic, believe that
>> Internet users are particularly susceptible because of the stress created
>> by
>> high expectations of technology and the constant waiting endured for
>> online
>> connections, email and Web pages. Other signs of technostress include:
>> loss
>> of productivity at work, changing sleeping hours or habits to spend more
>> time online, insomnia, a constant urge to check email, and losing your
>> train
>> of thought in conversation or work. For Tim Whalen, a Coast Guard officer
>> in
>> NYC, technostress for him means feeling compelled to check his email, even
>> at 2 a.m. "How could I possibly let an email sit for another eight hours,"
>> he says. Whalen also says that his heavy use of the Internet is affecting
>> his grammar and punctuation: "I seem to prefer the use of three
>> dots...Sometimes, I feel like a modern-day James Joyce as I type...never
>> completing a thought...moving on from this to that in a
>> techno-stream-of-consciousness."
>> Gary Handman
>> Director
>> Media Resources Center
>> Moffitt Library
>> UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
>> 510-643-8566